While I (along with Volvo fans around the world) am anxiously awaiting the October roll out of the all-new XC70, I had a chance this week to spend time behind the wheel of the 2007 model.

And yes, while I am looking forward to seeing the third generation XC70, this week’s test drive helped stimulate a lot of great memories of what has become one of the best all around crossover vehicles on the market.

It’s not only one of the safest vehicles on the road and recipient of Consumer Report’s highest “Recommended” rating, it will go just about anywhere in style, comfort and grace.

I ought to know.

When the current generation XC70 was launched a few years ago, I had an opportunity to drive it across the state of Alaska to the Arctic Ocean — in the middle of winter, no less. The temperature rarely rose above 10 degrees below zero, and north of Fairbanks, the lone road was paved in ice.

While it had no problem tackling winter extremes, the following summer I drove the XC70 down the Baja peninsula. Most of the route followed the famed Baja off-road route where roads are more like a trail and definitely not what you would consider suitable for normal vehicle traffic.

Yet the XC70 made it through — and in relative comfort, I might add. From the ice extreme of the Arctic Circle to the rugged desert terrain of Baja, the XC70 handled it like it was just another day at the office.

Driving the XC70 back in “my element” this week, I had an opportunity to get a refresher course by driving the all-wheel drive crossover wagon in everyday driving situations.

Powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo engine, the XC70 cranks out 208 horsepower on demand while generating 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with “Auto Stick” function.

Using regular unleaded fuel, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.

And while seating five passengers, there is also room for 37.4 cubic feet of cargo in back (71.4 cubic feet with the back seat folded flat).

Standard safety features include: anti-submarine seats, daytime running lights, dual-stage front airbags, side impact airbags, side impact protection system, side curtain airbags, 3-point safety belts for all seating positions, whiplash protection seating system, tether child seat anchorage capable, all wheel drive with Volvo’s Instant Traction, dynamic stability and traction control, rear door child safety locks, front fog lights, rear fog light, safe approach and home safe lighting, tire pressure monitoring system, power door locks with remote keyless entry, headlight wiper/washer, front and rear skid plates, PremAir treated radiator and security system, to name a few.

It’s also loaded with lots of standard amenities and creature comforts.

With a price tag of $36,420, there are only a few options.

For safety, comfort and all around versatility, the Volvo XC70 is one of all time favorite vehicles and highly recommended for a test drive for those in the market for a crossover.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at neal.white@waxahachiedailylight.com.